Superconductor breakthrough

24 September 2010 | 4:12pm | Fri

Superconductor breakthrough

Fitzwilliam's Professor David Cardwell's team have made a breakthrough in the manufacture of high-temperature superconducting materials. These materials could be used to protect the national grid and revolutionise the production of MRI scanners.

Click below to watch the University's video about this breakthrough and Professor Cardwell's work.

Superconductors are materials which, when cooled, can carry an electrical current without losing energy, unlike standard conductors such as copper wire. At the moment up to 10% of electrical energy is lost in transit before it reaches the user.

The breakthrough has improved the effectiveness of yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO) and a related family of superconducting materials.

Professor Cardwell said: "By improving or reducing the weight and size of applications such as energy storage flywheels, magnetic separators, motors and generators, we could greatly improve their power and potential. Superconductors are currently expensive and difficult to mass-produce, but the processes we have developed and patented should enable us to develop samples that are better, bigger, cheaper and more reliable."

Read more from the University Engineering Department...

Visit David Cardwell's bio page...